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China says to hold third Belt and Road forum 17-18 October

China is set to host the third Belt and Road forum in Beijing from 17 to 18 October. President Xi Jinping will give a keynote speech, with international leaders expected to attend.

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BEIJING, CHINA — China will hold its third Belt and Road forum in its capital from October 17 to 18, Beijing said Wednesday, with a number of foreign leaders expected to attend the event.

“Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony of the forum and deliver a keynote speech, and hold a welcome banquet for foreign leaders and heads of international organisations attending the forum,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will attend next week’s event, for which China only confirmed the dates and duration on Wednesday.

Moscow’s foreign ministry also said Tuesday that top diplomat Sergei Lavrov would attend and hold talks with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

“We welcome countries and partners actively participating in the Belt and Road Initiative to come to Beijing to discuss cooperation plans and seek common development,” foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said last month.

The event will see China celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its vast Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, which Beijing said in a white paper on Tuesday had generated over two trillion dollars in contracts around the world — equivalent in size to some of the world’s biggest economies.

Representatives from over 130 countries will attend the event, China’s foreign ministry has said.

— AFP

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